Atlas Plan View Sketch.jpg
es_Eta Launch.jpg
Atlas RED Comp_e.jpg
Dawnflight_es.jpg
Atlas Plan View Sketch.jpg

Projects Intro


The Pursuit of Extreme Efficiency

 

SCROLL DOWN

Projects Intro


The Pursuit of Extreme Efficiency

 

ADVANCES ARE MADE BY PUSHING LIMITS.  using the human body as our only source of power, we are forced to approach engineering challenges from a new perspective. extreme efficiency and unconventional solutions become the norm.

Since 2010 our passionate teams have succeeded in building the world's first flapping wing aircraft ("Snowbird") the Sikorsky-Prize-winning human-powered helicopter ("Atlas") and the fastest human-powered vehicle on earth ("Eta"). 

 

What do you want to know more about? 

es_Eta Launch.jpg

Eta


Eta

The Fastest Bike on Earth

SCROLL DOWN

Eta


Eta

The Fastest Bike on Earth

In 2013, Aerovelo set their sights on building the world’s fastest human-powered vehicle to surpass the previous level-ground speed record of 133.8 km/h (83.1 mph). In 2015, Eta first succeeded in its goal and has since incremented the world record four times, most recently with an astounding 144.17 km/hr (89.59 mph). 

Each year teams from around the world gather in Battle Mountain, Nevada in search of speed. The goal of the annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge is to provide an opportunity for teams to go as fast as possible on one of the fastest, flattest, straightest roads on earth.

The course is 5 miles long, and it takes absolutely every bit of it to build up to these kinds of speeds. After the first 1.5 miles, Eta is travelling over 100 km/hr, building towards a final sprint in an all out effort that lasts no more than 5 minutes.


Eta at a Glance

  • Top Achieved Speed: 144.17 km/hr
  • 9544 MPGe equivalent fuel efficiency
  • Empty Weight: 25kg
  • Shell Construction: Pre-preg Carbon-Honeycomb Sandwich 
  • Frame: Wet lay carbon fibre
  • Tires: Ultra thin 650c clinchers
  • Vision system: dual SD cameras/screens with on-screen data display
  • Custom build cranks, chainring, bottom bracket, hubs, wheels, headset

Eta gets its name from the greek letter "Eta" used in engineering to denote efficiency. This project is about the pursuit of ultimate efficiency. Based on the measured power input of the pilot, Eta boasts an equivalent highway fuel efficiency of 9544 MPGe, on the order 100x better than the most efficient electric cars.

 

With the mere power of one human, Eta is capable of reaching speed that most cars dare not drive. This video takes a look under the hood at the team and the technology that makes Eta one of the most efficient vehicles on earth.

In September 2015, Aerovelo's Eta Speedbike set a new world record in human powered speed by going 139.45 km/hr (86.65 mph). The Eta Speedbike Project is the continuation of Aerovelo's quest to promote new ways of thinking about lightweight, efficient design.

Atlas RED Comp_e.jpg

Atlas: the Sikorsky prize-winning design


Atlas
 

The Human-Powered Helicopter

SCROLL DOWN

Atlas: the Sikorsky prize-winning design


Atlas
 

The Human-Powered Helicopter

On June 13, 2013, Aerovelo’s human-powered helicopter Atlas won the AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Challenge and its $250,000 prize. During the record-­breaking 64 second flight, Atlas reached a height of 3.3 metres.  The Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition, which had gone unclaimed for 33 years, represents the third largest monetary prize in aviation history. The monumental feat required a human to hover to an altitude of 3 metres under his/her own power, and to remain aloft for at least 1 minute. The challenge is test a of ingenuity, athleticism and determination.

The key to success on Atlas was to free ourselves from unnecessary constraints. We built Atlas as big as it had to be, and then figured out where to fly it.  Atlas turned out to be twice as big as anything that had been built before - it was bigger than most commercial aircraft - and much, MUCH, bigger than the human inside it. 

atlassizecompare.jpg

Aerovelo Inc., founded by U of T Engineering alumni Todd Reichert (EngSci 0T5, AeroE PhD 1T1), and Cameron Robertson (EngSci 0T8, MASc 0T9), have made history by winning the $250,000 AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Prize, on June 13, 2013.

On June 13th, 2013, the Aerovelo Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter captured the long standing AHS Sikorsky Prize with a flight lasting 64.1 seconds and reaching an altitude of 3.3 metres. 

Dawnflight_es.jpg

Snowbird


Snowbird

Fulfilling man's earliest flight ambitions

SCROLL DOWN

Snowbird


Snowbird

Fulfilling man's earliest flight ambitions

While students at University of Toronto, Aerovelo founders Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson initiated and carried out the Human-Powered Ornithopter (HPO) Project, nicknamed Snowbird. The HPO team sought to achieve one of humanity’s oldest dreams with the successful flight of a human-powered, flapping-wing aircraft. The overall team goal was to provide students with practical hands on experience in engineering design while at the same time promoting efficiency, sustainability and the use of human power as a means of reducing society’s impact on the environment.

The HPO started as a spin-off of the flapping-wing research being con­ducted at the University of Toronto. The team was comprised of a dedicated group of graduate and undergraduate engineering students. An advisory board of experienced aerospace engineers, including successful ornithopter designer Prof. James DeLaurier, lent their expertise to the project. The team also col­laborated with Dutch rowingbike designer Derk Thys, who brought to the project more than twenty years of experience in the design of efficient rowing mechanisms. A Rowingbike mechanism was used in the HPO to transmit power from the pilot to the wings.

The project was initiated in the summer of 2006 with initial low-fidelity proof-of-concept simulations. Research and testing of various construction techniques took place between 2006 and the summer of 2008 when the team relocated to the Great Lakes Gliding Club in Tottenham, Ontario, to begin construction. Construction primarily took place in a barn on-site during the summer of 2008 and 2009. The first flight tests began in October of 2009 and resumed, after a winter hiatus, in July 2010. The Snowbird has a total span of 32 m, an empty weight of 44.7 kg and flies at a speed of 25.6 km/h

History

It is no surprise that humanity’s first attempts at flight were in the form of birdlike, human-powered ornithopters. The great artist and engineer Leonardo Da Vinci is frequently credited as the first to propose a reasonable flying machine in 1490: a giant bat-shaped craft that uses both the pilot’s arms and legs to power the wings. Though the aircraft was never built, and we now know that it would not have flown, it was a remarkable achievement considering the knowledge of the day. At the turn of the 20th century, focus shifted both in the method of thrust production (from flapping wings to the propeller) and the method of power generation (from the human body to the internal combustion engine). With the aerodynamic problem greatly simplified, the impossibility of human flight was disproved by the Wright brother’s flight in 1903 and the stage was set for the boom of aircraft developments in the decades to come. Though work on human-powered aircraft was still carried on from time to time by several groups in various countries, it would be three-quarters of a century before anyone mastered the art of human-powered flight, and a decade beyond that before the complex aerodynamics of flapping wings would be properly understood.